This article shows that evolution remains a theory without scientific proof.

Source: Australian Presbyterian, 1999. 4 pages.

Darwin’s Unholy Ghost Evolution is Shadow Science, neither fully Plausible nor Comprehensive

In my high school days in Temora in the 1940s, I remember one of the teachers telling us that the world came into being through evolution. To prove it, she pointed to the horse and explained that scientists had supposedly uncovered the way in which the modern horse had evolved over millions of years. She said that the moderns horse could be traced to a small ancestor called eohippus, an animal with four toes which have been reduced to just one in today’s horse.

At that time, other “proofs” of evolu­tion were also being put before classrooms and before the public through the media.

For example, scientists claimed that the discovery of the Piltdown fossils in 1912 demonstrated that there was an evolution­ary link between apes and humans. They also said that Java Man, discovered in 1891, was another missing link. So too was Nebraska Man, discovered in 1922, and Peking Man, found in the 1930s.

This kind of evidence was sufficient to persuade respected scientists that transi­tional forms between species, in particular between apes and humans, had been dis­covered. This was supposed to confirm Darwin’s theory of evolution. For example, two of the most eminent scientists in England at the time, Sir Arthur Keith and A. S. Woodward, declared that Piltdown Man “represents more closely than any human form yet discovered the common ancestor from which both the Neanderthal and moderns types have been derived”.

For decades, scientists used these inter­pretations of the fossil evidence to mould public opinion into believing that evolution had been shown to be fact and not simply theory. Darwin was right!

How is this “evidence” regarded today? Are these interpretations still current in the scientific community?

While museums and books still present the development of the horse as one of the “proofs” of evolution, reputable scientists are having second thoughts. Some now strongly query its validity. The biologist Heribort-Nilsson has pointed out that “the family tree of the horse is beautiful and continuous only in the textbooks”. The famous American palaeontologist Niles Eldredge called the textbook pictures “lam­entable” and “a classical case of palaeontologic museology”. In 1979, palaeontologist David Raup wrote “we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time. By this I mean that the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be modified or discarded as a result of more detailed information.”

As for Piltdown Man, investigators have proved that “discovery” to be a fraud. Someone had stained the jaw of an ape to make it appear that it matched a human skull. Then the Piltdown fossils and accom­panying bones were reshaped to support that fraud. In 1953 Piltdown Man was for­mally declared a fake, long after it had per­formed sterling service in moulding public opinion.

Java Man consisted only of a skullcap, a thigh bone and three teeth. The thighbone was found a year later some 50 feet from the skullcap. Significantly, there were two human skulls near the original finds, a fact that was downplayed. Nevertheless, after an exhaustive investigation, 19 evolutionary scientists bent on showing the validity of Java Man as an evolutionary link were forced to conclude that it had no part to play in human evolution.

In the case of Nebraska Man, some time after scientists discovered the original tooth in 1922, an identical tooth was found. But this time it was not alone. It was attached to an actual skull, that of a wild pig!

As for Peking Man, it too was originally based on the discovery of a single old tooth. It was found in China by a Canadian physi­cian, Davidson Black, just before he ran out of funds in 1927. The Rockefeller Foundation rewarded his discovery with a large grant to permit further exploration. Two years later, Black discovered what he thought was Peking Man’s braincase. He estimated it to be half a million years old. After Black’s death, others followed his exploratory work in China, discovering 14 skulls and a collection of tools and teeth. Some time later the skulls disappeared. But, from plaster casts and photographs, observers noted that all the skulls had been bashed at the base. The evidence finally indicated that these skulls were the skulls of monkeys, probably clobbered to death by hungry humans! Peking Man turned out to be sheer fantasy as well.

Until comparatively recently, all the above examples were presented to the pub­lic as powerful evidence for evolution. Today they are discarded by the scientific community. In the case of Java Man and Peking Man, both have been reclassified as Homo Erectus. New fossil discoveries are now being used to suggest the missing links of evolution. On 23 August, Time maga­zine gave an “up-to-date genealogy of modern humans and their evolutionary prede­cessors”. What confidence could there be that this genealogy is anything more than further speculation from wishful thinkers based on a world-view which requires an alternative to special creation?

Darwin’s theory of evolution is absolutely dependent on the fossil record. As Pierre-Paul Grasse, who held the presti­gious Chair of Evolution at the Sorbonne in Paris for 30 years, wrote:

Naturalists must remember that the process of evolu­tion is revealed only through fossil records. A knowledge of palaeontology is, there­fore, a prerequisite; only palaeontology can provide them with the evidence and reveal its course or mechanisms.

Darwin himself queried the absence of fossils showing transitional forms between species, which must be present if his theory is true. He conceded that the state of the fossil evidence was “the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” His response to this problem was to point to the fact that the fossil record in his day was extremely imperfect. He anticipated that in time the discovery of complete fossil beds would reveal the transitional forms between species.

Now 140 years have elapsed since Darwin, and billions of fossils have been discovered. However, contrary to Darwin’s expectations, no transitional forms “for which one could make a watertight argu­ment” have been found. Colin Patterson, senior palaeontologist at the prestigious British Museum of Natural History, con­cedes this in a personal letter dated 10 April 1979:

If I knew of any (evolutionary tran­sitions), fossil or living, I would certainly have included them (in my book, Evolution) ... You (the person to whom he wrote) say that I should at least ‘show a photo of the fossil from which each type of organism was derived.’ I will lay it on the line — there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.

So embarrassing is the lack of a transi­tional fossil record for evolutionists, a number of them, led by the eminent Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard, have aban­doned the old theory of gradual evolution sponsored by Darwin. Instead, they have proposed a new one called punctuated equilibrium. This theory says that evolu­tion, based on the fossil record, must have occurred in short, sharp jumps followed by long periods of stability when there was lit­tle or no change. But like its predecessor, the theory does not explain how the jumps of rapid evolution could possibly happen.

The only inference that we can draw is that the present state of the fossil record supports a creation model. Indeed, it is just what one would expect if the Genesis account is correct.

This failure to consider, much less admit, that the fossil record is consistent with a straightforward, literal interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2 is highly significant. It indi­cates that the real problem in the search for truth is with the scientists who do the searching. They have a bias which excludes them considering the possibility that God created the world instantly, rather than the world evolving. They proceed on the basis that the world made itself. This is a religious belief. For that to happen, they believe it must be by some form of evolution, the details of which will ultimately be discov­ered.

However, the evidence against evolution is accumulating at such a rate that researchers and academics among the orthodox scientific community are them­selves writing books and articles which pose a real dilemma for evolutionists. The evidence they reveal is nothing short of devastating for the theory.

One of these scientists is Michael Behe, Associate Professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University, Pennsylvania. In his book Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenges to Evolution, published in 1996, Behe shows that traditional evolutionary theory does not adequately explain the complexity of basic biochemical systems. His research demonstrates that they are not the result of random events, but rather the result of intelligent design. He gives many examples to show that complex life could not gradually evolve as claimed by Darwin and his followers.

In Origin of Species, Darwin posed this challenge: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”

Behe has taken up this challenge and explains. To Darwin the cell was a “black box” — its inner workings were utterly mys­terious to him. Now, the black box has been opened up and we know how it works. Applying Darwin’s test to the ultra-complex world of molecular machinery and cellular systems that have been discovered over the past 40 years, we can say that Darwin’s theory has “absolutely broken down”.

In his book, Behe points out that bio­chemical systems are “irreducibly com­plex”. If you take one part away, the whole system fails to operate. These systems could not have been produced by the grad­ual accumulation of changes under natural selection.

Reviews of Behe’s book concentrate on Behe’s religious beliefs and not on the sci­entific questions he raises. But Behe points out that his problems with Darwin arose not from his religious beliefs but his labo­ratory work. As a Roman Catholic, he had been taught that Darwin’s theory of natural selection was God’s way of creating life. Initially, he was content with that philosophy. As he puts it, “It was only when I started to think about the scientific prob­lems that I became critical.”

Behe’s solution is that the alternative to Darwin is to take seriously the notion of “intelligent design” in nature. And that fits in with the Christian position. The Apostle Paul puts it this way:

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.Romans 1: 20

Ten years earlier, Dr Michael Denton, an Australian molecular scientist — and not a Christian — published his book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. At that time he pointed out that the molecular world of the cell poses unanswerable questions for evolu­tionists: “In terms of their basic biochemical design ... no living system can be thought of as being primitive or ancestral with respect to any other system, nor is there the slightest empirical hint of an evo­lutionary sequence among all the incredibly diverse cells on earth.”

Denton’s research work on the cell led him to conclude: “The influence of evolu­tionary theory on fields far removed from biology is one of the most spectacular examples in history of how a highly specu­lative idea for which there is no really hard scientific evidence can come to fashion the thinking of a whole society and dominate the outlook of an age ... That (Darwinian theory) is neither fully plausible, nor com­prehensive, is deeply troubling. One might have expected that a theory of such cardinal importance, a theory that literally changed the world, would have been something more than metaphysics, something more than a myth. Ultimately, the Darwinian theory of evolution is the great cosmogenic myth of the 20th century.”

In 1991, Phillip Johnson, Professor of Law at Berkeley University, USA, pub­lished his book Darwin on Trial. Johnson specialises in the logic of argument. He describes himself as a Christian who believes that a God exists who could create matter out of nothing if he wanted to do so, but who might have chosen to work through a natural evolutionary process instead.

His purpose in the book is “to examine the scientific evidence on its own terms, being careful to distinguish the evidence itself from any religious or philosophical bias that might distort our interpretation of that evidence”. He shows that the theory of evolution, if it is viewed from the point of view of logic and the accepted rules of sci­entific research, is very badly lacking in confirmatory evidence. He concludes that Darwinism has become a kind of faith or religion, a pseudoscience held in spite of, rather than because of, the evidence.

In a later book, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds (1997), Johnson summarises the present dilemma for evolution­ists:

Evolutionary biologists have been able to pretend to know how complex bio­logical systems originated only because they treated them as black boxes. Now that biochemists have opened the black boxes and seen what is inside, they know the Darwinian theory is just a story, not a sci­entific explanation.

Already in 1984 Dr Louis Bounoure, director of research at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, had con­cluded that Darwinian theory was “a fairy tale for grown-ups”. Dr Bounoure is right. Sadly, many Christians have not yet caught up with the explosion of knowledge in the field of biochemistry, and still cling to the outdated theory of evolution.

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